Six Celebs Who Gave the Tax Man the Middle Finger
Tax day is upon us, and man does it suck. It's the one day a year many of us secretly wish we were Republicans. And part of the whole rigmarole of breaking off Uncle Sam his cut is fantasizing about hording away our hard-earned dollars and giving the feds the middle finger. But then reality sinks in and we think about what it means to go up against the IRS: the prospect of audits and, let's face it, jail time.
But some people have more guts than we do. They're called celebrities, and they often think the law doesn't apply to them. So here's our "screw-off" to the tax collector -- a list of six celebs bad enough to take a piss on tax day -- because we don't have the balls not to file this Friday.
6. Helio Castroneves
The Brazilian racecar driver, Dancing With the Stars winner, and
Coral Gables resident is one of the few celebrities who actually beat the rap
on tax evasion charges. The government accused him of not paying
taxes on $5.5 million earned from 1999 to 2004, but he was acquitted in 2009. To
that we say, bom trabalho!
5. Al Capone
The original Scarface was accused of murder, racketeering, smuggling booze during Prohibition, and perjury in Miami (though he won that case), and he did
a bunch of other bad stuff, but what eventually landed him in the slammer
was his failure to pay taxes.
4. Willie Nelson
You know it's bad when Willie had to release an album titled The IRS
Tapes: Who'll Buy My Memories just to pay more than $16 million in tax
debt in 1990. The album and help from his celeb friends, who bought
many of his possessions and then rented them back to him for close to
nothing, finally got him straight with the tax collector. Close to two decades after the fact, Willie could finally poke
fun at the situation when he did a Super Bowl commercial for H&R
Block in which the bearded Nelson does a shaving commercial to pay for
his accountant's mistakes.
3. Leona Helmsley
Sometimes the richest people make the stupidest mistakes. Take Leona
Helmsley, for example, the billionaire hotel owner and real estate giant
nicknamed the "Queen of Mean" because, yeah, she was a bitch. She claimed $2.5 million in phony expenses on her tax bill, and that
netted her four years in the clink. It didn't help that she uttered the
most famous quote in tax history: "We don't pay taxes. Only the little
people pay taxes."
2. Nicholas Cage
Wondering why Nick can't come up with a decent movie to save his life (see National Treasure, Ghost Rider, Next, and Kick-Ass -- actually
we love Kick-Ass)? He's too busy acting in anything old flick in order to pay off
his massive $14 million debt to the IRS.
1. Wesley Snipes
It makes sense that one of the biggest, baddest action heroes in movie history would have the guts to give the shaft to the IRS. He didn't pay taxes on $38 million in earnings from 1999 to 2004. Unfortunately, being
a high-profile black man doesn't stop the tax man from doing its own racial profiling, and Snipes is currently doing time in the McKean Federal Correctional Institution in Pennsylvania. Projected release date
is 2013. During trial, Snipes tried to use both the "I was just listening to my tax advisor's advice" argument and the even more comical "861 position" argument, which holds that a little-known section of the tax code states that wages are not taxable. Huh? That's sillier than
watching him in Blade: Trinity.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about arts and culture events in Miami and offers you won't hear about anywhere else.